Round 2 expected in Jakarta governor polls

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, showing his ballot paper during the regional elections in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Feb 15, 2017.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as Ahok, showing his ballot paper during the regional elections in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Feb 15, 2017. PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA • The election for governor of Indonesia's capital city is set to go into Round 2 after none of the candidates won a majority vote, according to exit polls.

But there was good news for incumbents Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and Djarot Saiful Hidayat yesterday.

In all but one of the eight quick counts released as of 5pm Singapore time, they registered the highest percentage of votes, reinforcing recent polling that suggested Basuki had regained the lead he lost after being charged with blasphemy.

The bad news is that their lead over their closest rivals from Gerindra Party - former minister Anies Baswedan and businessman Sandiaga Uno - was no more than a few percentage points. This means it will be another tight race in April, once the elections commission confirms there will be a run-off, after the official results are out in two weeks.

The Democratic Party's Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and Sylviana Murni are not expected to make the cut. Francis Chan

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Round 2 expected in Jakarta governor polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe